Edinburgh Capitals won their second game of the weekend with a 5-4 victory after penalty shots over Hull Stingrays at Murrayfield last night.
Following on from Saturday’s 6-4 win over Belfast Giants in Northern Ireland, bench coach Jock Hay praised his players for “digging deep” in what was at times a scrappy game, Tomas Hiadlovsky stopping all three Stingrays attempts in the shoot-out, meaning Dennis Rix’s goal in the opening round was enough to give Caps the extra point.
“That’s a huge four-point weekend for us, especially at this time of the season,” said a delighted Hay. “You could see we were struggling out there, because we had put so much into the Saturday game, but to come out with a win over a team we’re trying to chase down for a play-off place is just fantastic and all the boys deserve a pat on the back.”
Hull got on the board on just two minutes, through Jordan Mayer, as Caps struggled to get going, a task made even more difficult after they lost blue-liner Kyle Flemington to injury just seconds later.
“Kyle took an elbow to the chin, when he went in for a check,” explained Hay. “It acted almost as a knock-out punch and he was pretty dazed afterwards. Hopefully he suffers no further ill effects and he’s back on the ice soon.”
Caps were already missing influential Slovakian defender Marcel Petran with a lower body injury and Hay continued: “We really struggle when we miss two ‘D’ men, we’re lucky that young Jay King is doing such a great job for us, but when we lost Flemington we were all at sea and we had to shift the lines about which made it difficult for us to build any momentum.”
Hull, a small but speedy outfit, surprised the close to 1000 home fans in attendance by winning a number of physical battles, repeatedly knocking the bigger Capitals players off the puck, but in doing so fell-foul of match referee Rab Cowan, allowing the home side nine power-play opportunities on the night. Edinburgh had already levelled through Rix, and with the man-advantage took the lead early in the second period. Riley Emmerson scored with a wrist shot after crisp passing from Daniel Naslund and Greg Collins had drawn Hull goalie David Brown out of position.
From 2-1 up Caps then seemed to completely come off their game, conceding two cheap goals less than 60 seconds apart to Carl Lauzon and Will Frederick. Hull went on to dominate the majority of the middle period, until, against the run of play, Caps levelled in the 37th minute, Rene Jarolin the scorer. Then Emmerson scored his second, again on the power-play two minutes later to give Edinburgh a 4-3 lead going into the third period.
But the advantage was short lived because Lauzon sent Frederick clean through to score his second and Hull’s fourth in the 41st minute.
Hay admitted: “We did go a ten-minute spell where we totally lost our shape and they were on the front foot, but we managed to get through that and get our noses back in front. Eight weeks ago that comeback would never have happened, we would have just folded and got beat by four or five. You could see the boys were tired and the third period was a real slog, especially after they equalised so quickly.
“But we got there and played better defensively before Tomas and Dennis came up big for us in the shoot-out.”